Manheim was founded in 1762 by Henry William Stiegel, a German immigrant, and the Stedman brothers, his business partners. Stiegel became a part owner of the nearby Elizabeth Furnace, where he prospered as an ironmaster, becoming prominent at the same time in church and civic affairs. He began experiments in glass making, which led to the manufacture of window glass and bottles at Elizabeth Furnace. Stiegel built a mansion and office for himself on the Manheim Square and a glassmaking plant nearby, which later became known as the American Flint Glass Manufactory, home of the famous Stiegel glassware.

Stiegel became sole owner of Manheim, and in 1772 donated a lot of ground to the Zion Lutheran congregation on which to build a church “for five shillings and in the month of June yearly hereafter the rent of One Red Rose if the same shall be lawfully demanded.” Since 1892 the congregation of Zion has made an annual payment of One Red Rose to a selected heir of Henry William Stiegel as stipulated in the original deed.